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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 | Japan in winter 2017 | Great Britain in 2017 |

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2015/02/04 New Zealand Days 26-30: Hiking the Milford Track
π 2015-02-04 00:00 in Hiking, Nz2015, Trips
After arriving in Queenstown the previous late afternoon, we went directly to Kiwi Discovery to pick up our rental backpacking gear. We took the evening to pack, and had a short night due to having to take an unnecessarily early bus (06:45) to get to Te Aura, from where most things in the Fiords start.

The weather was already bad by then, rain and wind, and we had to get better rain jackets from a local rental shop and then wait for the second bus leaving at noon that would take us to the boat that would drop us off at the trailhead:


rainbow
rainbow

Department of Conservation, like a ranger office, where we got our permits
Department of Conservation, like a ranger office, where we got our permits

our upcoming track
our upcoming track

weather on the boat was already nice :)
weather on the boat was already nice :)


thankfully it was mostly clear when we started
thankfully it was mostly clear when we started


This wasn't a real backpacking trip because we were not going to sleep in tents, but in huts that had matresses, water, and cooking gas. That said, people for whom this is still too rough can pay way too much money to do a guided walk and end up in plushy cabins with showers, beds, and cooked meals. Bah, that's totally cheating!

Day 1: Glade Wharf to Clinton Hut: 5.8km, 1h34, from 200m to 230m

Day 1 was too short, just a short walk to the first hut.

the first stop for people who can't rough it even a little bit, was almost right off the boat
the first stop for people who can't rough it even a little bit, was almost right off the boat

supplies get delivered by heli
supplies get delivered by heli




our own huts weren't that far either, the first day was really short
our own huts weren't that far either, the first day was really short

this bird is shifty, hard to get good pictures of it
this bird is shifty, hard to get good pictures of it

the robins are super curious and fearless
the robins are super curious and fearless

after checking me out, it came on my foot to look for worms in the holes :)
after checking me out, it came on my foot to look for worms in the holes :)

a ranger gave us a quick talk in the giant kitchen/common room of our huts
a ranger gave us a quick talk in the giant kitchen/common room of our huts

keeping warm
keeping warm

the bad weather lifted just a bit, probably the best view we had that day
the bad weather lifted just a bit, probably the best view we had that day

The evening, I went out to see glow worms:

see the strings
see the strings

it doesn't look like much, but that's how they glow up at night. This cons insects into their traps
it doesn't look like much, but that's how they glow up at night. This cons insects into their traps

Day 2: Clinton Hut to Mintaro Hut: 20.1km, 6h09, from 230m to 600m

The next morning, the weather turned from bad to worse, we had non stop rain between moderate and very heavy. This put our gortex rental rain jackets to the test for sure. Views that day were quite poor and each picture meant getting your camera pretty wet:




very wet birds
very wet birds

moss everywhere
moss everywhere


on the plus side waterfalls were flowing everywhere
on the plus side waterfalls were flowing everywhere


quick stop in a shelter on the way
quick stop in a shelter on the way

snow and boulder avalanche path
snow and boulder avalanche path


Eventually all of us (about 40) ended up in the next hut, soaken wet:



each hut has a helipad for deliveries and getting staff in and out. That's so cheating :)
each hut has a helipad for deliveries and getting staff in and out. That's so cheating :)

New Zealand Weka flightless bird, roams around a bit like a chicken
New Zealand Weka flightless bird, roams around a bit like a chicken


Thankfully the rain subsided a bit in the evening, so we had at least a bit of view


rain plus cold = snow
rain plus cold = snow


remember that this is like snow in July
remember that this is like snow in July

New Zealand duck, quite pretty
New Zealand duck, quite pretty

finally, we got to see what our crossing the next day would look like
finally, we got to see what our crossing the next day would look like


Kea, smart New Zealand parrot
Kea, smart New Zealand parrot


Day 3: Mintaro Hut to Dumpling Hut via McKinnon Pass (1140m): 20.2km, 8h23, from 600m to 110m

The third day, finally weather was non rainy:


we quickly got to the snow line
we quickly got to the snow line







we're lucky we got views at the top
we're lucky we got views at the top


I happened to have some bird seeds :)
I happened to have some bird seeds :)

another kea
another kea

top hut/shelter for breaks or in caese of bad weather
top hut/shelter for breaks or in caese of bad weather

MacKinnon pass, the top (1140m)
MacKinnon pass, the top (1140m)

the peak across had a few snow slides
the peak across had a few snow slides

after a while we got back down under the snow line
after a while we got back down under the snow line







A little fork off the trail was to see Sutherland Falls, the tallest waterfall in New Zealand. It's 580m high and a very powerful fall at the bottom. The spray at the bottom was enough to get wet from a distance and get your camera instantly wet as soon as you try to take a picture:




After a bit more of a walk, we got to our 3rd and final hut, this time without being wet, a welcome change:




Day 4: Dumpling Hut to Sandfly Point: 21.0km, 6h12, from 110m to 0m

The 4th and last day was smooth sailing. We had to get on the trail a bit earlier since we had to arrive at the boat by 14:00 to get back to civilization via a boat and bus.



this turned over rock could fit multiple people inside
this turned over rock could fit multiple people inside







fluffy
fluffy




and after 3.5 days, we got to the end :)
and after 3.5 days, we got to the end :)


boat back home
boat back home

A few pictures from the boat and bus back home:






We finally got back to our room and enjoyed a nice dinner :)



More pages: October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997

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